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Volunteerability offers free support for volunteers with disability


The new volunteering program, Volunteerability, is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services.

Orana is proud to have partnered with leading volunteering organisations to develop a program that creates disability awareness in communities and supports volunteering for people with disability. The program was officially launched on Friday the 12th of February at U City, Adelaide. The event included the presence of His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, the Honourable Michelle Lensink MLC, Minister for Human Services, and Nat Cook, Shadow Minister for Human Services, alongside a variety of volunteer, disability and community organisations.

The launch was co-MC’d by Orana’s CEO, Nick Mihalaras and James White, Ambassador for Down Syndrome SA. It started with a respectful and entertaining Welcome to Country by Jack Buckskin, followed by a warm welcome from the His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia. While guests enjoyed sips of coffee and danishes, Rachel Yorston, Project Manager, and Joni Cottrell, Program Coordinator, gave an informative presentation about Volunteerability. The launch came to an end with a beautiful ukulele performance by Jenn Allen, co-facilitator and participant of the co-design team.

Volunteerability would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who took the time to support this event. Thank you to U City for creating a beautiful accessible venue and photographer John Kruger who captured the moment.

Orana Australia Limited, Volunteering SA&NT, Northern Volunteering and Southern Volunteering joined forces to develop training and inclusive resources to create meaningful volunteering opportunities for people with disability. The Board of Northern Volunteering SA Inc. expressed, “this project aligns with our core values, mission and strategic direction, supporting individual volunteers, as well as, volunteering involving Organisations. This is why we are so keen to be involved in such an important program here in South Australia”.

Together, these organisations will provide support for people with disability to find a meaningful volunteering role and train volunteers to support people with disability in the role of a volunteer buddy. Organisations will also be provided with the resources, information, tailored 1:1 support and access to disability awareness sessions that will work to create more inclusive communities. “By engaging people with disability to volunteer, we are working to support a more inclusive and accessible volunteering sector”, added Evelyn O’Loughlin, Chief Executive Officer of Volunteering SA&NT.

The program’s concept aligns with Orana’s mission to create responsive and sustainable partnerships that empower Orana’s clients within their community. “We look forward to the ongoing partnership that will help address exclusion that many people with disability face and achieve a socially inclusive community”, added Nicholas Mihalaras, Chief Executive Officer of Orana Australia Limited.

The launch was the start of a beautiful journey. Throughout the next two years, the program will be delivered and reviewed by co-facilitators and a co-design team, comprised of a group of people with lived experience with disability that will ensure the program is inclusive and delivers the right message. There will be at least twenty Disability Awareness Sessions delivered all over South Australia to organisations and any volunteers that are keen to improve their skills and help create a more inclusive community.

If you would like support to volunteer or know someone that may be interested, please contact the Volunteerability team on (08) 8375 2080 or email us at

For further information please visit our website at

To support the program, we invite you to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn via @volunteerability for the latest updates.

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